A friend invited me to attend a worship session today. She knows I left my religion and has been supportive. But I haven't told her--I don't consider myself a Christian anymore. I read the book
Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes by John Shelby Spong and his arguement is that the Gospels are a Hermenutic writing taking bits and pieces from the Old Testament and wrapping those stories and 'prophecies' around Jesus 'Christ'. I was learning about qualitative research methods and hermenutics in Graduate School shortly before I read this book. I found Spong's arguments very compelling, and it lifted a great burden from my mind too.
Jesus did NOT die and atone for my sins. Whew! What a relief. I don't have to feel guilty because I exist. It's pretty sick when your mere existence is the cause of another person's death/murder. You can never clear your conscious of that kind of guilt. I found Spong's book to be helpful in my process of letting go. I realized that everything else built on the gospels (i.e. churches, the Book of Mormon, etc) was basically bogus because the gospels AREN'T literal history. Understanding that, I was able to let go of a lot of things. There is still work to be done, but that dismantled layers of dogmatic beliefs. Happy letting go!